Although there is a dark cloud hanging over Detroit with Megatron’s pending retirement it’s not all gloom and doom for the Lions in the offseason. Unfortunately if Calvin Johnson decides to walk away from the team they will be without one of the best receivers in the game. But fans in the motor city can look forward to getting an extra compensatory third round draft pick for losing Ndamukong Suh to Miami last year.
The exact science for compensatory picks really isn’t known but generally the extra draft choices are given to teams who sign less players than they lose in free agency the year before. Also, when don’t sign as many free agents and lose a marquis player they will generally get a third or fourth round pick from the NFL to make up for losing a big name. The player’s worth is determined by his contract, playing time, and awards and achievements. The league then decides based on those factors where their compensatory draft picks will be in the draft.
Last year New England was granted an extra third round pick after they lost Aqib Talib to Denver. In 2014 Pittsburgh got a third round compensatory pick when they lost Mike Wallace to the Vikings. Considering that Suh was one of the most dominant linemen in the NFL it’s all but a lock Detroit will get an extra third round pick.
If Detroit had to replace Johnson with a compensatory pick in the third round Leonte Carroo from Rutgers and Rashard Higgins from Colorado State are projected to be late third round/early fourth round receivers who might be available.
Compensatory selections cannot be traded in the 2016 NFL Draft. But in 2017 teams will be allowed to wheel and deal the pick like any other draft pick.
The league will officially announce the compensatory draft picks in March. The draft will take place April 28th, 29th and 30th in Chicago.